Latest News from the Sisters of Saint Joseph

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Edition No. 164— March 25, 2021 
Sister Jean Santarone SSJ
Clinical Therapist
Saint Francis and Saint Vincent Homes,
Bensalem, Pa 
As gun violence surges in Philadelphia, an archdiocesan outreach worker is bringing hope to troubled teens by reminding them “they are God’s children.”

Sister Jean Santarone SSJ has spent the past three decades as an intake specialist and clinical therapist at the Saint Francis and Saint Vincent Homes (SFSV) in Bensalem. The sites are part of a continuum of community-based and residential care offered by archdiocesan Catholic Social Services (CSS) for at-risk and adjudicated youth. Sister Jean's work with teens was recently featured in Catholic Philly.
CLICK HERE to read the article.
Celebrating Saint Joseph Day
Saint Joseph Villa
March 19, 2021
What a joy it was to gather in the Chapel at Saint Joseph Villa to celebrate Saint Joseph’s Day. Archbishop Nelson Perez joined the sister Jubilarians in the chapel, along with many who were live streaming, to celebrate Liturgy.

Congregational President Sister Maureen G. Erdlen SSJ welcomed everyone. “What a pleasure it is to be in the Chapel with our sister Jubilarians. These sisters represent hundreds of years of commitment to our loving God through the consecrated life. What a gift you are to all of us and to the Church. Through live streaming, we are also joined by our sisters and residents here at the Villa, sisters, associates, partners in mission, and staff, faculty and students of our sponsored works.

We, the family of Joseph, are gathered to celebrate this special feast in honor of our patron, Saint Joseph, in this year of Joseph. It is certainly a unique opportunity to come together to renew our commitment and to honor this just and extraordinary man. We are blessed to have a patron who is so close to our own human experience; a man who labored to support and protect his family. While Pope Francis has given us this opportunity to remember and celebrate Joseph throughout the year, one of my favorite quotes about Joseph comes from Pope John Paul II. He said, ‘Joseph is the proof that to be a genuine disciple of Christ there is no need of great things, only great love in the common simple things.’ Joseph courageously and faithfully followed his dreams—not his personal desires—because he recognized the voice of God speaking to him and challenging him to be more than he could have ever imagined. May we be willing to be as loving and courageous as Joseph was.”

Archbishop Perez began the celebration with a warm greeting. “What a perfect day to be with the Sisters of Saint Joseph on the solemnity of Joseph. I am thrilled to be here with you as you honor your patron Saint Joseph. We thank God for the Jubilarians and the gift they are to the Church and for the ministry they continue to do for the Church.”

In his homily the Archbishop shared, ‘What an incredible message Joseph left to the world about what it means to be faithful to God even when you don’t understand. What I like about Saint Joseph is that he is so human. Although he doesn’t understand, he accepts the Lord’s will for him.  Pope Francis speaks about this particular moment in his life in the beautiful letter he wrote to honor Saint Joseph, Patris Corde ( With a Father’s Heart ).
‘Often in life things happen whose meaning we do not understand. Our first reaction is frequently one of disappointment and rebellion. Joseph set aside his own ideas in order to accept the course of events, and, mysterious as they seemed, to embrace them, take responsibility for them and make them part of his own history. Unless we are reconciled with our own history, we will be unable to take a single step forward, for we will always remain hostage to our expectations and the disappointments that follow.’ These beautiful words certainly describe Joseph, but they also describe you and me. We have all had moments when we do not totally understand the mysterious will of God. But, it all goes back to a moment when you gave your life to the Lord and you promised obedience and so you understand what Joseph went through.

So we thank God for Saint Joseph and for the Sisters of Saint Joseph. We thank God for the incredible ministry and service you have been and are and will continue to be for the Church of Philadelphia.”
Pictured from left: Marueen G. Erdlen SSJ, Archbishop Nelson Perez and Irene Dunne SSJ.
Pictured from left: Archbishop Nelson Perez, Marie Cecile SSJ (celebrating 85th Jubilee), Mrs. Katrina Wise and Irene Dunne SSJ
Pictured back, left to right: Ann Muriel Ronan SSJ, Arleen McNicholas SSJ
Pictured front, left to right: Joan Alminde SSJ and Catherine Austin SSJ
Pictured back, left to right: Miriam Dennis McConomy SSJ
and Owen Patricia Bonner SSJ
Pictured front, left to right: Grace Christi Costello SSJ and Arlene Ronollo SSJ
Pictured from left: Eileen Marnien SSJ and Arleen Ronollo SSJ
Zoom—A Bold Uncompromising Stand
by Julie Gabell, SSJ Associate
Love comes in many sizes, shapes, and complexions. There’s romantic love, unrequited love, familial and universal love. There’s misplaced love, love of friends, infatuation, and “puppy love.” But whichever face of love we find when we look in the mirror, it is the enduring love of self and the presence of God within us that ultimately enables us to acknowledge the collective worth of every human person.

What does it really mean to recognize the worth of every individual? Think of that. Most of us have been shaded from the seedier side of life: the prostitute, the drug dealer; the destitute woman on the city street or unkempt homeless huddled beneath a bridge. Do the marginalized really deserve the same privileges as we? The same respect?
These are not easy questions for us to swallow, and harder still is the quest for answers. We gravitate naturally toward what we know: the upright and privileged and safe. Yet, as Gospel women, we commit to take a bold, uncompromising stand. In Fratelli Tutti Pope Francis reminds us that “only when our economic and social systems no longer produce a single victim, a single person cast aside” will we be able to celebrate the feast of universal sisterhood and brotherhood. 

So, how can we effectively respond to the needs of the marginalized in a self-absorbed world? Villa Zoomers grappled with this question and determined once again that our most reasonable response lies in active advocacy and unrelenting prayer. By its very nature our collective love reaches beyond itself in an all-inclusive embrace.

Somewhere along the line, society lost the sense that we are responsible for one another. Our free-market system demands we “GET” for self, when our humanity cries out “GIVE” to others. How we manage this disparity determines the person reflected back to us each morning in our mirror.  
Laudato Sí Reflection for March 28, 2021
Sisters of Saint Joseph serving on the Chapter Implementation Subcommittee for Directive II, offer this excerpt from Laudato Sí and questions that you can use for your personal reflection, local community sharing, or another creative way you can incorporate these into your life. Enjoy this week's reflection.
Celtic Golf Raffle 2021
Win a trip for two to Ireland! Tickets for our annual Celtic Golf Raffle are now available! Visit for more information and to purchase chances to win.
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"With the help of God's grace and in fidelity to our founder's expressed wish, we live and work lovingly among all persons with a special preference for those who are poor, which calls us wherever we are to be in union with them."
                         — SSJ Constitutions #21
Editor, Sister Carole Pollock SSJ | 215.248.7269 | |